Rémy Rioux is the chief executive officer of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD). During his career, Rémy Rioux, Senior Advisor at the Court of Auditors, has alternately held responsibilities in France and to support development in Africa. He works for France’s economic and financial policy and conducted control missions in the energy and defense sectors at the Court of Auditors from 1997 to 2000, and subsequently from 2002 to 2004.
Rémy Rioux became the chief executive officer of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) in June 2016. Previously a senior advisor for the Cour des Comptes, the supreme audit institution of the government of France, Rioux has dedicated his career to serving France and to supporting Africa’s development.
After completing his studies at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure (ENS) and Sciences Po, Rioux attended the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA), France’s graduate school for civil servants, where he first became involved with Africa as an intern in Bénin and while working with the Organization for the Harmonization of African Business Law (OHADA).
Rioux began his professional career at the Cour des Comptes in 1997, working on economic and financial policy and conducting energy and defense sector audits until 2000. He then moved to the French interior ministry, where he worked with former Interior Minister Daniel Vaillant, managing the ministry and the euro changeover until 2002. Rioux returned to his previous duties at the Cour des Comptes from 2002 to 2004. In 2004, he began working for the French Treasury, monitoring the CFA franc zone. Over the following three years, Rioux deepened his knowledge of Africa as he travelled to the zone’s 14 West and Central African member-countries and elsewhere across the continent. During this time, Rioux established close relationships and acquired his acknowledged expertise in development issues.
Rioux continued his work at the Treasury as chief investment officer for the Agence des Participations de l’État (APE), the government’s investment agency, from 2007 to 2010. Responsible for the transportation and media sectors, Rioux sat on the boards of Renault, SNCF, RATP, Aéroports de Paris, France Télévisions, France Médias Monde, Arte, and Grand Port Maritime du Havre. From 2010 to 2012, Rioux served as Deputy Secretary General for international financial affairs and development for the French Ministry of the Economy, Industry, and Employment. There he deployed and deepened his Africa expertise, helping to resolve a political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire. In addition, when France chaired the Group of 20 and hosted the G20 Summit in 2011, Rioux put Africa’s development on the international agenda, moderating the High-Level Panel on Infrastructure chaired by Tidjane Thiam and creating a standing working group.
Rioux served as Chief of Staff to former minister Pierre Moscovici at the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Foreign Trade from 2012 to 2014. He helped to restore the French economy’s competitiveness, balance public accounts, and deal with several financial and industrial cases concerning Bpifrance, Dexia, PSA-Dongfeng, STX, and other organizations. Alongside Minister Moscovici, Rioux was behind efforts to entrust Hubert Vedrine, Lionel Zinsou, Jean-Michel Severino, Hakim El Kharoui and Tidjane Thiam with the task of redefining economic relations between Africa and France in 2013; he also prompted Jacques Attali’s report on the French-speaking economy in 2014.
In 2014, former Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius appointed Rioux deputy secretary general of the French foreign affairs ministry, where he served as the pillar of the minister’s economic-diplomacy policy. Rioux, a public-finance specialist, helped reform public operators and financial instruments to boost trade, tourism, and France’s appeal to foreigners. Beginning in 2015, Fabius, the chair of the Paris COP21 Climate Conference, asked Rioux to work with the French negotiating team led by Laurence Tubiana to coordinate the financing portion of the climate negotiations for the final Paris Agreement. Rioux addressed public and private climate-finance issues, such as how to collect the USD 100 billion pledged by countries and how to guide funders and investors towards low-carbon investments. Rioux also championed the scaling-up of renewables in Africa; during the Paris Climate Conference, a sustainable-energy initiative was launched at Le Bourget.
Rémy Rioux, an expert in international financial institutions, particularly development banks, also knows AFD very well: he served on its board from 2010 to 2012, after having sat on the board of PROPARCO, its private-sector financing arm, from 2004 to 2007. In September 2015, French President François Hollande asked Rioux to prepare for closer ties between AFD and the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) before he appointed Rioux to run the development agency in 2016.
Rémy Rioux, born in 1969, is married and has three children. A historian by training, he is recognized as a man of dialogue. Deeply attached to his family’s region of origin in France’s Massif Central (Lozère and especially Corrèze counties), Rioux likes to go there to read, play sports, and hunt for mushrooms around the village of Theillet; it sits on a plateau overlooking the town of Tulle whose forests extend all the way to Dordogne.
Rioux’s knowledge of French institutions and companies, his passion for development and climate issues, and his close ties with Africa will help him meet AFD’s challenges. By 2020, the agency’s financing will increase 50 percent to support a more just and sustainable world for everyone’s benefit. In recent years, AFD has become a key player in fighting climate change by dedicating more than half of its foreign aid to pro-climate projects and programmes.